Working with energy audits in the ROCKWOOL Group

Panel: 3. Energy management: The nuts and bolts

Authors:
Susanne Dyrbøl, Rockwool International, Denmark
Mette Drejstel, ROCKWOOL Group, Denmark

Abstract

Melting stone and waste into high quality products is an energy intensive process. The melting and spinning process is our core technology and optimizing capacity and flexibility of those processes with a minimum of waste and energy use has been a key focus for our factories for decades. Energy consumption has been reported since 2012 and optimized as part of the general process optimization but has not been a separate strategic focus area.

Since 2016 ROCKWOOL has used the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a strategic tool to guide and prioritise development in our operation. 10 SDGs have been selected as strategic priorities where we contribute by minimising our operational footprint. Progress is measured against selected targets within each SDG – here energy efficiency is a key focus. A Global Sustainability Function has been created in the organisation which has aligned KPIs and is overall responsible for achieving the targets. Investments which are contributing to the SDGs are now evaluated outside the normal investment procedure using other criteria.

Companies with a unique core technology are likely to concentrate all their focus on optimising the core technology in terms of performance and energy consumption and pay less attention to the side processes which are often standard equipment. Core technology typically accounts for less than half the total energy consumption in the production.

Prioritising energy efficiency investments in industry is a complex matter – which it should actually not be especially not for measures with an extremely short payback time. Our internal work with Energy Audits as part of our strategic work with the SDGs has clearly showed that Energy Audits is only one part of the puzzle which cannot stand alone but needs to be part of a longer dialogue and linked to key “anchor points” in the organisation.

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